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7/19/2018



Rail News: Safety

FTA unveils two new safety regs


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[Editor's note: This story was updated at 10:20 a.m. CDT.]

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday issued two final regulations aimed at boosting public transit safety.

One rule requires transit agencies to incorporate safety management system (SMS) policies and procedures into safety plans. SMS is a "comprehensive and collaborative approach" to safety that many transit agencies haven't previously used, FTA officials said in a press release.

The safety plan rule takes effect July 19, 2019, and compliance is required within a year of that date.

In the coming months, the FTA expects to provide guidance to help agencies develop safety plans and implement SMS.

The FTA will defer action on the rule for about 2,000 small or rural transit systems, Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams told reporters in a conference call yesterday.

"The administration has taken a performance- and risk-based approach to development of these safety rules, and the data show that the greatest safety risk ... is concentrated in urban areas and rail-transit systems," she said.

Because no two transit systems are alike, the rule sets "scalable and flexible" requirements for the safety plans, FTA officials said.

The second regulation calls for establishing a basic training curriculum to enhance the technical competencies and capabilities of individuals responsible for the safety oversight of transit-rail systems.

That training will be required for personnel at state safety oversight agencies and their contractors, Williams said.

The publication of the rule is aimed at reducing the regulatory burden to the transit industry by eliminating a course requirement and allowing for equivalency training credit, according to the FTA's press release.



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